If you’re worried about whether you have the signs of alcoholism, or you’re looking into it due to concern for a loved one, it’s important to know the warning signs that occur. There are both physical and psychological symptoms to keep an eye on, and it may take time for them to develop.
Many people suffering from alcohol addiction might start out as moderate drinkers and slowly moved into alcohol abuse over time. This addiction can look different for everyone, depending on the stage and how drinking impacts the person’s health, behavior, and thinking.
Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse
The body gets used to a high blood alcohol concentration and expects to maintain that level throughout the day. Many of the physical symptoms that you’ll see stem from an inability to access alcohol, as the body begins to go into withdrawal.
Tremors are common, resulting in shaky hands, poor balance, and issues with fine motor control. You may also experience signs that are typically associated with hangovers, such as headaches and an upset stomach.
When you’re at a location that has alcohol, you may feel cravings so strong that they have a physical impact on your body. Once you have your drink, you may seek out an isolated area so that your friends, family, and peers won’t see you drinking.
If you decide to stop drinking, a partial hospitalization program (PHP) helps reduce the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Doing so reduces the risk of relapse from the discomforts of withdrawal.
Psychological Signs of Alcoholism
There are many psychological signs of alcoholism to watch for as well.
- Short-term memory loss: It’s hard to remember what’s going on when you always have alcohol in your system. Your working memory becomes unreliable and you may experience periods where you have blacked out. You may end up relying on your friends or family members to fill in the blanks. Ending up in risky situations is a common consequence of the signs of alcoholism.
- Mood instability: You may have a hard time controlling your mood, especially if someone starts to question how much you’re drinking. Irritability is a common mood for alcoholism and can lead to arguments and fights that spiral out of control, or increase in frequency. It can be hard to recognize when your mood starts to shift due to alcohol, but it might be one of the first signs of alcoholism that your loved ones will recognize.
- Justifying drinking: You point to stress in your life, a need to relax, or another reason that justifies why you’re drinking. Sometimes using alcohol to relax becomes a habit that transitions to addiction or as a way to self-medicate due to other issues in your life.
- Acting out of character: Your inhibitions are not at their normal level when you’re under the influence of alcohol. Even if you don’t feel drunk, you may take actions that are completely out of character for you. Regretting these choices and causing harm to those around you can be a serious problem for those with alcohol use disorder.
Avoid Quitting Alcohol Cold Turkey
It’s tempting to get rid of all the alcohol in your house and quit cold turkey once you recognize that there’s a problem. However, this can lead to serious medical issues. Alcohol detox without medical oversight may lead to fatal symptoms, so it’s important to have the support system you need when you make the decision to get help with alcohol abuse.
Getting Help for the Signs of Alcoholism
Midwest Recovery Center provides many treatment programs that relieve the signs of alcoholism. Programs include:
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)
- Outpatient program
- Sober living homes
You’re not only given an environment that’s free from temptation, but you also have access to therapy and other solutions that set you up for long-term success. Learn more about your treatment options by contacting us at 833.627.0039.